Drawing, Creativity, and Depression

Flowers In A Vase

Flowers In A Vase

This is the first drawing I’ve made from life in a few weeks. It’s not very good but it felt good to sketch form and texture again.

I’ve always struggled with my moods but until now I’ve always been able to draw no matter what state my mind settled into. I reached such a low point this time, though, that I didn’t have the energy to sketch.

The anxiety medications I tried a few years ago had side effects, so I’m trying St. John’s Wort this time. (My doctor suggested this.) I’m having mixed results, but I’ve only been at it two weeks. I hope it works because I miss having the energy to sketch.

I have been able to work on a small piece that I’m drawing from a photo reference during this time, but sketching from life calls for more oomph than I was able to muster. Sketching requires an energetic and spontaneous connection with whatever you’re looking at, and a ferocious amount of creative juice is needed to put form and texture on paper while balancing the composition as it’s created.

If you’re suffering from depression, my heart goes out to you. Please remember that this bad place you’re in is not permanent. Here are some links to articles I found helpful.

Highly Sensitive – A few articles about highly sensitive people and anxiety.
Depression and Creativity – Several ideas about how depression and bipolar disorder influence creativity.
The 10 Paradoxes of Creative People – You’ll recognize yourself.
The Psychology of Creativity: Redeeming our Inner Demons – Purpose and passion.
Help For Depression – Down to earth suggestions about how to cope with and / or come out of depression. (It’s different for everyone.)

About Carol

I'm an artist, an accidental author, and lover of life. I grew up in Yorktown, Indiana, and I've been writing (and drawing) this website since 1999.
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3 Responses to Drawing, Creativity, and Depression

  1. Debra says:

    I hope you are feeling somewhat better. Depression and Anxiety is so hard to cope with. Best wishes, Deb from Oz. P.S. I love visiting your blog and beautiful work. P.P.S. be gentle with yourself.

  2. Mark says:

    Wow, can I ever relate! It’s like fighting a huge army with a tooth pick some days. But the answer is to persevere and to keep moving forward. I love your sketches and hope you don’t take them too seriously. That is, let the creativity flow onto the paper and don’t judge the results as good or bad. They are results, nothing more.

    You might want to try the 30-minute challenge I recently took up. I find that when I’m down, it’s best to be doing SOMETHING. Drawing and writing help so much.

    All the best,


  3. Tim Faichney says:

    I’m sorry to hear how you are feeling.
    I’ve suffered from depression, on and off all my adult life. This year was a struggle for me, I became depressed and anxious in January and it lifted in August. I feel healthy and strong now, and I’m sure you will feel good very soon. A few things have helped me and reading your blog is one of them.

    I’ve read dozens of self help books over the years, some good some not so good. This year I read a very good book called the Promised Land by Rick Norris. The book really helped me to understand why I suffer from depression and helped me overcome my black moods, I would recommend you get a copy.

    I have to go and walk the dog now. Take care of yourself and thanks for taking the time to write your blog.

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